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Florida: Vegan mother ‘starved son with vegetable and fruit diet’

Vegan mom Sheila O'Leary has been convicted of murdering her 18-month-old son

Vegan mom Sheila O’Leary has been convicted of murdering her 18-month-old son (Images: Lee County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook/PA)

A vegan mother has been found guilty of starving her 18-month-old son by feeding him raw vegetables and fruits.

Sheila O’Leary, 39, was found guilty by a jury of child molestation charges she suffered in the death of her toddler Ezra O’Leary in September 2019, according to the Fort Myers News Press on Wednesday.

Ezra weighed just 17 pounds, seven pounds lighter than average for his age, when his parents noticed he had stopped breathing.

“This child has not eaten. He was starved to death for over 18 months,” said Francine Donnorummo, head of the prosecutor’s special unit for victims.

Sheila O'Leary was convicted of murder by a jury on Wednesday

Sheila O’Leary was convicted of murder by a jury on Wednesday (Image: PA Images)

Sheila and her husband Ryan O’Leary told police that Ezra is strictly vegan but was also breastfed. Ezra did not eat for about a week before he died and had trouble sleeping, they said.

“She made decisions that killed her child,” Donnorummo said.

“Her pride cost Ezra her life. It is a reckless disregard for human life.”

An autopsy report revealed that Ezra died from complications related to malnutrition.

The toddler's father, Ryan Patrick O'Leary, is set to stand trial on the same charges his wife faced

The toddler’s father, Ryan Patrick O’Leary, is said to be on trial on the same charges his wife faced (Image: PA Images)

Prosecutors charged Sheila with failing to provide medical care to Ezra when she discovered he was ill.

“She chose to ignore his screams,” Assistant District Attorney Sara Miller, who oversaw the case, said during closing arguments.

“She didn’t need a scale to see his bones. She didn’t need a scale to hear his scream.”

When Ezra died, the O’Learys also neglected their three other children, all under the age of 11, according to prosecutors.

“We’re here because their children were starving so much that the youngest were starving,” Miller said.

Sheila of Cape Coral has scheduled her sentencing hearing for July 25.

Ryan, who is in the Lee County Jail, is scheduled to stand trial on the same charges as Sheila.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/07/01/florida-vegan-mom-starved-son-to-death-with-vegetables-fruits-diet-16929567/ Florida: Vegan mother 'starved son with vegetable and fruit diet'

Justin Scacco

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